Update on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

by Dr. J.J. Hurtak, Ph.D., Ph.D.

The successful rendevous of the MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbitor) with the planet Mars on March 10th (2006) will allow sophisticated instruments to look for ‘waterways’ and document the dendritic networks of flow channels both on the Martian surface and below its sands. A platform of High Resolution (HiRISE), Context (CTX) and Mars Color Imagery (MARCI) cameras will open a new page for the study of the search for water and other triggering mechanisms of life using remote sensing technology hovering some 300-500 kilometers over the Martian surface, but penetrating 1 kilometer under the surface, where underground water reservoirs could be discovered.

The MRO cruised through interplanetary space for 7 and ½ months before reaching Mars. During the voyage, testing and calibrations continued with some of the most elaborate scientific instruments and experiments ever brought into space. Four trajectory correction maneuvers were planned in case there was a need to correct the trajectory for proper orbital insertion with Mars. Only three trajectory correction maneuvers were needed by the MRO, with a fourth correction deemed unnecessary, in order to make a perfect orbital connection with the planet.

In addition to high-resolution instruments that will help space engineers to evaluate possible landing sites for future missions, the MRO’s communications capabilities will provide a critical transmission relay for the surface missions undertaken by future robotic and human mission teams. MRO will even be able to provide critical navigation data to future probes during their planned landing schedules. More importantly, the Orbiter may be able to uncover the reasons behind the failure of past Mars missions (the Russian Phobos 2, NASA’s Mars Polar Lander, and the British Beagle lander) and discover exciting findings of water and other signs of primitive life, past or present, on our sister planet.

The 2006 mapping of the smallest details on the Martian surface (down to the resolution level of 3.3 feet – 1 meter diameter) highlights the importance of the new mission which will lay the groundwork for future NASA planned surface missions which will include a lander called Phoenix for 2007, followed by the Mars Science Laboratory, a highly capable rover now being developed for a 2009 launch opportunity.

External Links:

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter website at JPL

HiRISE Instrument website

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Reception